ICING ON THE DATE (The Bannister Brothers #1)

ICING ON THE DATE                                   JENNIE MARTS

Struggling caterer, Gabby Davis, has enough on her plate trying to start her new business and take care of her deadbeat brother. The last thing she needs is to get involved with Owen Bannister, the brawling NHL player who is known for his cavalier playboy ways. Even if having him in her kitchen does turn up the heat. 
Owen Bannister has a reputation for being a hot-head that no one woman can pin down. When the press captures him laughing and frosting the cupcakes of a local baker, team management sees a chance to clean up his tarnished image. But he soon finds that love is the ultimate game changer, and he’s about to get checked. 
Having Gabby around is great for publicity and great for her business, but what happens when she becomes more than just a game? 

Mixing cupcakes and hockey might just be a recipe for love in this fun romantic comedy/sports romance that mixes a cute caterer with a bad-boy hockey player. 

     Gabby Davis is a survivor.  She came from what just about everyone would call a horrible background.  Her natural father bailed on her, her little brother Justin and mother years ago.  It got so bad they didn’t know how they were going to make it.  Then her mom met Ron her future step dad at work.
     Things were good at first but then he lost his job.  His new family became his target of choice after long hours of drinking.  That’s when Gabby started making plans for her and her brother.  You see she had heard her mother say over and over “This time I will leave him” but she never has.  So she knew she had to in order to survive.
     At a young age she started working toward that goal.  Working at a bakery so that at 18 she worked there full-time.  And that is when she moved out and took Justin with her.  It was hard and they were dirt poor but they were safe and happy.  Most of all not living in fear.  She made her little brother graduate from high school and she had her next door neighbor lady that used to babysit them when things got bad at home that gave the two kids a safe place to hide. 
     When her husband died she helped Gabby set up her own bakery and she let her rent the apartment above the bakery.  Not to mention she was the morning baker to this day for Gabby and her right hand.  She was the person that was like a mom to Gabby and Justin.  She is now open and called “Simply Sweet.”  She is noted for her cupcakes but she makes everything. 
     On this night she is serving desserts for a function at one of the local hotels in town.  When a waiter slams through the doors on the wrong side.  Smooshing the cupcake tray all over the front of Gabby’s catering shirt.  Chocolate no less.  Gabby is not happy because she had just gotten a call from Justin who was once more drunk, in jail, and needing $2000.00 for bail money.  It had taken her 6 months to save that money for an advertising budget that she had just called some to get the ball rolling that she would now have call and stop.
     She leaves the tray in the kitchen and goes storming off to the lady’s bathroom right into the last stall.  No sooner does she close the door when she hears voices.  Then notices one is a man’s voice. She can see through the cracks of the door that the lady’s shoes alone could get her brother out of jail, for they are red bottoms.  Everything on her was expensive even her breast.  The man was in an expensive suit but drunker than a skunk.  The girl was ready to party and have a good time, namely sex.  The guy mainly wanted the room to stop spinning and to barf.  The girl was not happy.  The minute the girl left and the guy slumped to the floor snoring she came out and washed her hands and brushed off the now dried chocolate frosting.
     All of a sudden she felt someone climbing up her leg.  She wasn’t afraid though.  Maybe because she had been dealing with her brother and his drinking for far too long.  She just asked as she lowered herself to the ground how she could help and who she could call for him.  He just said how he was in so much trouble and that he didn’t mean to do it.  She said can I call someone for you?  He panicked and said no but then he said yes to call his brother Bane.  He gave her his phone and she did.  Bane said to please keep him there, to not tell anyone else, and to not let him leave.
     Bane said he would be right down to keep him there away from people and don’t tell anyone.  Which was okay with her because she had no clue who he was.  So he said I’m Owen Bannister she still had no clue.  Owen just sat with her on the floor using her breast as a pillow and hugging her around the waist.  He kept telling her she smelled so good like a chocolate angel sent from heaven.  That she smelled so good.  The next day she finds out he’s a big time hockey player for the local Summit team.  Still really meant nothing to her since she would never see him again.  But she also found out what trouble the brothers kept talking about too.
     Owen shows up to see her to say thanks.  Or is it more?  Gabby touches a place in Owen’s heart when they had a moment in that restroom that changed a lot for him.  He can’t seem to make heads or tails of it all.  As is the case for Gabby too.  See how things start to come together and see the peaks and valleys of icing this love affair.  I give this 5++++ stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at:


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